In Partnerships We Trust- Collaborative Destination Marketing

September, can also be considered as the month of fresh beginnings, and during the last few days we have seen the launch of quite a few exciting destination marketing initiatives. This week we have chosen to focus on the most recent collaboration and tourism partnerships at a destination level, this time especially focusing on examples of tight market segmentation profiling such as in the cases of France and Holland.

Also, in the spirit of the month, we are excited to invite you to check out our revamped website, where you can also find this and all the other blog posts gathered per category on the dedicated Blog section.

Europe’s New Campaign

Highlighting the diversity Europe offers to tourists, the European Union has just launched a new campaign promising a lifetime experience of the continent’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty to visitors  from India, Brazil, Russia, China, Chile and Argentina.

The Europe – whenever you’re ready campaign, which runs from this September to December 2013, is designed to remind tourists from these target markets to discover the old continent.

Thematic packages and itineraries, covering all four corners of the EU, are showcased, including pan-EU and regional tours on religious, cultural heritage and gastronomic themes—like wine and olive oil routes—and tailored packages incorporating historic and natural UNESCO sites according to Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship.

The campaign, which is financed by the European Commission, would be organised in partnership with the European Travel Commission (ETC) — the umbrella organisation for national tourism boards in Europe.

It also aims to add value to promotional activities of member states and the European tourism industry.

Well known travel writers, journalists and bloggers would be part of the campaign which would showcase the wide variety of unique opportunities that Europe offers to international tourists.

Morewww.visiteurope.com, Europe.whenever.youre.ready, ec.europa.eu

France Asks “What’s Your Vineyard Style?”

Atout France–the France Tourism Development Agency is putting French vineyards in the spotlight through a huge online campaign in partnership with its Wine Tourism Promotion Club, which encompasses 17 wine regions. Other campaign partners include the French Ministry of Agriculture and VBT, a tour operator offering walking and biking tours.

For this campaign, Atout France is highlighting seven of France’s major wine regions: Champagne, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Rhone Valley, Alsace, Macon and Midi-Pyrenees. Participants are able to take the quiz “What’s Your Vineyard Style?” to form their ideal vacation itinerary based on their “character”, by choosing between preferences like cities or countryside and Beef Bourguignon or Salmon Tartare.

After completing the quiz, each person will be matched to a particular wine region based on their answers. Participants also have access to special deals, itineraries and trip ideas based on their matching wine region.

Approximately 7 million people will be reached through this online campaign, including subscribers of The New York Times, the Travel Channel, Smithsonian Magazine, Fodor’s and Atout France’s consumer newsletter.

More infous.franceguide.com, heraldonline.

“Faces of Holland” & Orbitz

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and  Orbitz  just announced a joint marketing partnership to launch NBTC’s new leisure marketing campaign, “Faces of Holland.” The campaign encourages travelers to learn and explore the fascinating stories behind Holland’s most recognizable icons, like canals, bicycles, windmills, tulips and Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Throughout the campaign, NBTC and Orbitz Worldwide will work together to leverage new cross-platform media programs that will increase awareness of Holland as a leisure destination and drive online travel bookings amongst target audiences.

A wide range of strategic marketing efforts are to be employed, including retargeted online ads, while in addition to the icons of Holland, major upcoming events are also to be highlighted throughout the campaign.

NBTC has launched a “Faces of Holland” website which includes original videos and specific itinerary suggestions to help travelers meet all the “Faces of Holland”.

More infowww.holland.com

Tourism Campaigns & User Generated Content! Share more!

European Travel Commission’s ‘I Wish I Were There’ Social Media Contest

The European Travel Commission launched a social media contest entitled, “I Wish I Were There.” Hosted on the ETC’s official Facebook page, the contest will encourage fans to superimpose images of themselves in their dream European destination and post the new photos to the Facebook page to be automatically entered to win a trip for two to Europe.

I Wish I Were There” is the first of three exciting social media contests that are slated to take place on the European Travel Commission’s social networks over the course of the year as part of a new creative campaign to promote Europe as a tourism destination to the U.S. consumer. The “Follow Your Dreams: Visit Europe” campaign aims to educate travelers on the compelling tourism offerings available within Europe with an emphasis on history, culture and gastronomy.

The top five photos will be selected by the greatest number of “Likes” obtained by Visit Europe Facebook fans and entered for online voting to determine the Grand Prize Winner, who will be awarded a dream European vacation to their destination of choice from a selection of three European travel destinations – Austria, Croatia or Poland. The national tourism organizations of each country will be offering sponsored inclusive of hotel stays, ground transportation and cultural activities for the winner and one guest.

ETC’s web portal www.visiteurope.com along with its dynamic social networks offers travelers activities, tools and tips to help consumers organize their journey to Europe and encourages travelers to share their own experiences and read others while accessing photos, videos and social networks.

Sourcewww.visiteurope.comhttp://www.prnewswire.com

The “My Sarajevo Photo” project

A dynamic new web site and ongoing photo competition launched in Sarajevo this month will be uniting citizens, visitors and the tourism industry in a scheme aimed at creating a database of high-quality photos for promoting Sarajevo as a tourism destination.

Branding Sarajevo required strong promotional materials with top-notch photographs, and the new web site www.mojaslikasarajeva.net will provide the BiH tourism industry with a free database of at least 2,500 high-quality photos capturing different aspects of life in Sarajevo.

The “My Sarajevo Photo” project represents one of the activities defined in the cooperation agreement between the City of Sarajevo and the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project that was signed in January 2011. “‘My Sarajevo Photo’ is a project with which Sarajevo Navigator, in cooperation with the City of Sarajevo, starts working on the branding of Sarajevo as a tourism destination,” said Nedim Lipa of Sarajevo Navigator at a press conference on July 7.

“With this project, we aim to present an image of Sarajevo as seen through the eyes of its citizens as well as its visitors,” he said, while also thanking the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project for its support.

At the heart of this project is an ongoing public web competition for the best photo of Sarajevo. The photos will be published on the website, which is connected with the social network Facebook, where people can rate and comment on them. All the photos will be stored in a database with view and search options, while the latest submissions and those with the most Facebook votes will be more prominently placed on the web site.

“We expect this activity to contribute to tourists’ decisions to visit the city, while building a sense of pride and belonging among its citizens. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as tourists will be able to participate in the monthly competition for the best photo of Sarajevo, and the photos will then be available for use by tourism stakeholders,” said David King, Chief of Party of the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project, at the press conference.

Sourcemojaslikasarajeva.net/bawww.emg.rs

My Story Is Written in Albuquerque

A new promotion by the city of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages “Burqueños” to tell their stories about the city — and possibly win a trip for friends or family to visit the Duke City.

So far there are 24 stories among the entries and the idea is to grow the ranks of local ambassadors, said Dale Lockett, president and CEO of the ACVB.

“The goal of this campaign is to capture the stories and different viewpoints about why we love calling this city home, which are many of the same reasons people visit,” Lockett said. “Hearing stories from our residents will help us showcase the vast array of experiences that are available in our city — to locals and visitors alike.”

Albuquerque residents are invited to write their own stories and submit a photo at the site, MyABQstory.com. They are also encouraged to click on a link to send family and friends a virtual Albuquerque Visitors Guide.

The site features a Flickr photostream of Albuquerque pictures that people can use with their entries. They can also post their own photo. There is also a link to ACVB’s YouTube channel. The Facebook and Twitter options let contestants share their stories more widely. The site also offers lists of things to do, including some that are free or cost less than $10.

Sourcewww.bizjournals.comwww.itsatrip.org

European Tourism 2011 – Trends & Prospects, Q1/2011

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has published its first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects.

Destination and industry data indicate a positive start to 2011. Foreign visitor arrivals were reported higher through the beginning months of the year by most destinations.

Both airline and hotel industry data confirm the continuation of travel growth to Europe, however at a more measured pace than experienced during the peak growth periods of 2010.

International passenger traffic to Europe outpaced global growth over the first two months of the year. European airlines also report growth in traffic over the first 14 weeks of 2011, but growth has slowed over recent weeks.

Hotel occupancy has improved further, but appears to have peaked. Average Daily Rates continue to push up across Europe in response to demand.

We expect the overall growth trend to slow in 2011 as comparisons are made to stronger performance in 2010 and high energy prices affect both disposable income and transportation costs.

Wage spiral inflation is unlikely in the developed economies as unemployment and spare capacity persist. Capacity utilisation is higher in emerging markets where food and energy prices are also having a bigger impact, thus more monetary tightening is expected.

The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake will affect the Japanese economy and consequently outbound travel considerably in the short run. Japan is likely to briefly re-enter recession in 2011 with a 10% drop in outbound travel. A considerable rebound is expected on both fronts in 2012.

Capacity of European airlines continues to expand, carrying on the trend from late 2010. Capacity surged between late 2010 and early 2011, averaging a 7.8% increase in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) over the first 14 weeks of 2011. This should translate into competitive fares and act as a driver to travel demand over the next 6-8 months.

2011 Tourism Performance Summary
Of those countries which have reported 2011 performance, the majority are experiencing a positive start to the year. Not only are arrivals generally up, but length of stay appears on the rise as well. These trends are confirmed by hotel industry data which indicate at least modest growth in occupancy in the first months of the year.

Read More at: www.etc-corporate.org

Check out the latest Tourism & Travel Trends at: aboutourism.wordpress.com/trendspotting-2011

Trend Snapshot: The booking and buying habits of UK, German & French travellers

PhoCusWright presented at ITB Berlin in March 2011 key findings of its European Consumer Travel Report which provides an overview of the status of consumer travel in three individual markets – the UK, France and Germany.

Their research uncovers some surprises and important differences between these three markets. The European travel markets are extremely varied in nature.  The report highlights include the following trends:

– Traffic Forecast: A strong ratio of French consumers plan to travel more versus those who intend to travel less. The German outlook is also positive, though more moderate. UK travellers, in contrast, show a very slight growth trajectory for the upcoming year.

– Proliferation of the Internet in making travel plans: Among those with internet access, just 6% of French travellers, 9% of German travellers and 5% of UK travellers plan and book their trips completely offline.

– Search engines hold the key: When shopping for leisure travel options, the majority of French, German and UK travellers typically use general search engines, which rank first among website categories.

– Price is merely a hygiene factor: Even in today’s price-sensitive environment, the most commonly cited reason to visit a website is a prior positive experience. This was indicated by 38% of respondents in France, 50% in Germany and 51% in the UK.

– Hotels are not the main draw: Only 38% of French travellers surveyed enjoy staying in hotels, compared to 72% of German travellers and 82% of UK travellers.

– Smartphone adoption reaches critical mass: Over a third of travellers now carry mobile phones with web browsing capabilities; 38% do so in France, 37% in Germany and 47% in the UK.

– Mobile travel is small, but growing fast: Fewer than 10% of travellers have performed travel-related activities on their mobile phone in the past year. Yet intentions show that the mobile travel audience will be likely to double in the next 12 months.

Other findings show that the age group with the most leisure time in Europe were the 18 to 24 year-olds who are a very tech-savvy generation.

Source: www.newmediatrendwatch.com

Check out other tourism and travel trends at: aboutourism.wordpress.com/trendspotting-2011/

UNWTO Barometer: 2010 – Improved prospects in a ‘year of transformation’

Growth returned to international tourism in the last quarter of 2009contributing to better than expected full-year results, according to the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. International tourist arrivals fell by an estimated 4% in 2009. Prospects have also improved with arrivals now forecast to grow between 3% and 4% in 2010.This outlook is confirmed by the remarkable rise of the UNWTO Panel of Experts’ Confidence Index.

2009 – Last quarter sees return to growth

International tourist arrivals for business, leisure and other purposes are estimated to have declined worldwide by 4% in 2009 to 880 million. This represents a slight improvement on the previous estimate as a result of the 2% upswing in the last quarter of 2009. In contrast, international tourist arrivals shrank by 10%, 7% and 2% in the first three quarters respectively. Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East led the recovery with growth already turning positive in both regions in the second half of 2009.

Regional panorama

Except for Africa, which bucked the global trend, all world regions show negative results in 2009:

  • Europe ended 2009 down 6% after a very complicated first half (-10%). Destinations in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe were particularly badly hit, while results in Western, Southern and Mediterranean Europe were relatively better.
  • Asia and the Pacific (-2%) showed an extraordinary rebound. While arrivals declined by 7% between January and June, the second half of 2009 saw 3% growth reflecting improved regional economic results and prospects.
  • In the Americas (-5%), the Caribbean returned to growth in the last four months of 2009. The performance was more sluggish in the other sub-regions, with the A(H1N1) influenza outbreak exacerbating the impact of the economic crisis.
  • The Middle East (-6%), though still far from the growth levels of previous years, had a positive second half in 2009.
  • Africa (+5%) was a robust performer, with sub-Saharan destinations doing particularly well.

2010 – Improved prospects in a ‘year of transformation’

Against the backdrop of both the upturn in international tourism figures and overall economic indicators in recent months, UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 3% and 4% in 2010. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just recently stated that the global recovery is occurring “significantly” faster than expected, as compared with its October assessment which already counted on a clear return of economic growth in 2010 (+3.1% worldwide, with stronger performance for emerging economies at +5.1%, alongside a more sluggish one for advanced economies at +1.3%).

Upside opportunities:

  • Business and consumer confidence has picked up;
  • Interest rates and inflation remain at historically low levels and are expected to rise only moderately in the short term;
  • A slump is generally followed by a rebound due to pent-up demand and destinations are expected to actively leverage this opportunity;
  • There is scope for a revival among source markets which were hard hit in 2009 such as  the Russian Federation or the UK;
  • Major international events will take place in South Africa (FIFA World Cup), Canada (Winter Olympics) and China (Shanghai Expo), creating potential extra travel demand;
  • The momentum of the spirit of cooperation and partnership bred by the crisis is expected to be maintained by stakeholders;
  • The flexibility shown by the tourism sector in dealing with rapid shifts in demand and volatile market conditions has made it stronger;
  • Crises provide an opportunity to address underlying structural weaknesses and implement strategies fostering sustainable development and the transformation to the Green Economy.

Downside risks:

  • Unemployment is the key challenge. The jobs crisis is not over yet, particularly in major advanced economies and many valuable human resources are still at risk;
  • Economic growth in major source markets, specially in Europe and the USA, is still fragile;
  • Stimulus measures are likely to be phased out due to increasing public deficits while a number of advanced economies may see increases in taxation, putting extra pressure on household and company budgets;
  • Oil prices remain volatile;
  • Although the overall impact of the influenza A(H1N1) virus was milder until now than anticipated, experience from previous pandemics shows that the situation could once again become challenging;
  • Security threats and the potential of increased related hassle and costs for travellers are still a challenge;
  • Revenues and yields are expected to recover at a slower pace than travel volumes.

Go To UNWTO website for further information.

Download the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer: 2009 International Tourism Results and Prospects for 2010
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Presentation: Destination Marketing Accreditation Program

The Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) has reached a major milestone and now has more than 100 destination marketing organizations (DMOs) that have earned accreditation. Developed by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), this industry-wide accreditation program is designed to recognize DMOs that meet or exceed industry standards.

DMAP has accredited DMOs throughout the United States (35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), Canada, and Europe. The latest DMOs to achieve it are:

• Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (New York)
• Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau (Wisconsin)
• LA Inc. (California)
• Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau (Illinois)
• Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Corporation (Alabama)
• New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (Louisiana)
• Porter County Convention, Recreation & Visitors Commission (Indiana)
• Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau (New York)
• Tourism Saskatoon (Canada)

To become accredited a DMO must successfully complete a rigorous application process, requiring evidence of compliance with 54 mandatory standards and 33 voluntary standards. The standards set by DMAP cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence, innovation, and stakeholder relationships.

For more information visit DMAI’s special website section for DMAP, read the DMAP web brochure or watch the DMAP Video Presentation

Study Snapshot: ITB World Travel Trends Report 2009/2010

The findings in the ITB World Travel Trends Report were based on the assessments of 60 tourism experts from 30 countries, on a special IPK International trend analysis undertaken in leading source markets, and on core data supplied by the World Travel Monitor, recognised as the largest ongoing survey of global travel trends in some 60 source countries.

Key Trends

Air Travel

  • The first decline in arrivals and receipts since 2003
  • Turnaround confirmed by monthly trends
  • Africa is the sole region to buck the general trend
  • Flat is the new growth
  • Premium travel has been the hardest hit …resulting in declining yields and continuing airline losses
  • Airlines Capacity cuts have been widespread …… but forecasts confirm the industry’s resilience
  • Airfares are set to rise in the short term …… but technological advances will generate longer-term efficiencies

Accommodation

  • Hotels slash prices to remain competitive
  • Signs of improvement are still very patchy
  • Local conditions are also expected to play a significant role in determining which types of hotel accommodation, in terms of design and functionality, are being conceived and planned for hotel guests of tomorrow.
  • corporate travellers losing further share of the market …… but spending on business travel remains strong

Markets

  • Longhaul destinations such as Europe are being hit hardest as Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Thais also choose to stay home or travel within Asia.
  • Travel demand for 2010 is likely to pick up, but spending is likely to lag at around 2005-2006 levels.
  • Prospects for 2010 will be greatly determined by any return of consumer confidence in Japan and China.

Main drivers of growth

  • Confidence levels are still relatively weak
  • Unemployment remains a major concern
  • Structural changes in the travel & tourism market …… due to changes in demographics and lifestyles
  • Unpredictable Consumers’ reaction in times of crisis

Strategies and responses to the downturn

  • Crisis reveals underlying structural weaknesses
  • New research, and new ways of using research
  • Changing the marketing message as well as the medium
  • Partnership is key
  • Business cycles are always with us
The report concludes, “There are currently too many uncertainties to be able to predict with any real confidence the likely trends in terms of travel and tourism demand from the world’s leading source regions. “For the time being, pending developments over the next few months, the best ‘guesstimates’ suggest that neither Europe nor North America will do better than achieve a flat year in terms of growth, unless the economic recovery is much stronger in the USA than currently expected. “But Asia Pacific should see at least a modest increase in outbound trip volume – mainly for intra-regional destinations – a trend also forecast for South America and the Middle East.”
Download the full report at ITB World Travel Trends Report 2009-2010